BetonSports Prepares to Close Offices

10 August 2006

Embattled sports betting company BETonSPORTS (BoS) told its employees today that it would be shutting down its Costa Rican and Antiguan offices.

Rumors of a shut down, perpetuated mostly by online tabloids, have spread like wild fire since Monday. A company spokesperson today confirmed that BoS upper management terminated approximately 800 employees this afternoon, although he could not confirm the effective date.

The company's Web site,, has been non-operational since July 19 when it shut it down in partial compliance with the temporary restraining order issued by the United States Attorney's Office in the Eastern District of Missouri. The TRO has since been extended until Aug 14. when another TRO hearing is scheduled.

One major issue that remains unanswered is whether or not and when BoS customers will get their money back. The TRO orders the company to return all money to U.S. account holders, but thus far BoS has failed to do so.

U.S. Attorney Catherine Hanaway said the U.S. government has every right to seize the money if BoS does not return it.

"In all kinds of crimes we forfeit money that someone has paid," she said.

A BoS executive told the Associated Press that the company is working on returning deposits and pending wagers.

"Customers will get their money," the executive said, adding that because of the TRO, some payment processors have stopped doing business with BoS, causing them to have no way to transfer the bulk of the money to gamblers.

"We are in a difficult position," the executive said.

The BoS spokesman said the company would release an official state on Friday morning including information on the closing date and the U.S. accounts.

Emily Swoboda is the senior staff writer at IGamingNews. She lives in St. Louis, Mo.